Hitting might be cyclical, but Mets manager Terry Collins believes the recent drop-off in production during the nine-game homestand that ended Wednesday night can be attributed to a recent increase in strikeouts.
"One of the things we're getting away from is our chase rate is up a little bit, which is something we have not been doing," Collins said before the rubber game against the Braves. "We've been making pitchers bring the ball in the strike zone. Look at what we did on the road. You've still got to be patient enough to make sure you're getting balls you can handle."
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Collins also acknowledged the Mets hit better on the road after their previous two homestands, so, he's hopeful the tide will turn during a seven-game road trip to the hitter's parks in Cincinnati and Philadelphia.
"For six years, I've said this is not an easy place to hit," Collins said of Citi Field. "It never has been. It's a big park still, even though we've made adjustments to it. There's wind factors a lot of times. We live and die with power, and this is a tough place to have power."
Rest helping Wright
David Wright's home run Tuesday was his first at Citi Field since returning from the disabled list on Aug. 24. His average in those 22 games entering Wednesday night was .297 with nine extra-base hits, eight RBIs and 16 runs scored.
"I think he's swinging great," said Collins, who is giving Wright regular days off. "When he plays three or four in a row, he gets that general body stiffness.
"I told him today the difference in the day after the day off is unbelievable. His bat speed is so much different and the energy level. I just know that, after this winter, he's going to be healthy."
The Mets held a moment of silence before the game to honor the passing of Yogi Berra . . . Relief pitcher Carlos Torres (leg) will perform pitcher's fielding drills Thursday . . . Juan Uribe (sore chest) took batting practice Wednesday after sitting out a couple of games.